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Two Weeks in the Desert Sun...

Canada Skateboard at the World Championships in the U.A.E.

Canada Skateboard stands with the World Skate Gender Equity Committee and the discontent with the decision to host the World Championships in the U.A.E.

The 2022 World Championships at Aljada Skatepark wrapped up last Sunday in Sarjah, U.A.E. Over 300 skateboarders were on hand to compete for not only the $250,000 prize purse but the opportunity to earn valuable qualification points for the Paris 2024 Olympics. The World Championships are the most important qualifying events, with the highest amount of available points. A strong performance at the World Championships can set skaters up in a great position for Olympic qualification.

The setting for this event was incredible. The skatepark complex currently consists of six separate parks, ranging from the Olympic level street and park courses plus three smaller bowls, street sections, snake runs and beginner-level spaces. So much terrain to skate.

The event started off with the street open qualification event where skaters had to make a top 28 cut. This was a momentous task as there were 170 skaters in the men’s division and 90 in the women’s division. To qualify, the skaters were required to complete a perfectly executed, incredibly difficult run.

Highlights in men's street included Calgary's, Tom Nelner with a clean run featuring a textbook

hurricane on the long down rail. Shay Sandiford was able to land an almost perfect run, featuring a bennett grind to fakie, bs 270 lip, bigspin board, and a switch lipslide on the gap to rail, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough to qualify for the quarter final.

BC's Micky Papa and John Purcell, the pride of Nova Scotia appeared to have made the cut John, with his switch and nollie routine that was emphasized with a switch bs over-crook on the gap to rail, but he was bumped out by the last heat. In the end, only National Team veterans Ryan Decenzo and Matt Berger would qualify to the quarter finals.

Matt ran his tried and true skills of tech gnar flipping in and spinning onto the larger features and going against gravity by grinding and sliding up some of the smaller obstacles. Matt’s World Champs came to an end in the quarter final finishing just outside of the top 16 after the judges made their decisions.

Ryan Decenzo continued his run of contest consistency finishing as Canada’s top performer on the men’s side, with a very respectable 11th place. Ryan put multiple incredible runs down in the qualification, quarters and semi finals, linking together video part worthy tricks into wild combos, nollie heel nose slides, cab 270 to front boards, fs 360s, not to mention his single trick wizardry of a fakie flip lipslide down the long rail, and a 360 flip 50 down the big hubba, all with that timeless style. Ryan’s performance has landed him in the top ten of the Olympic Ranking List, putting him in a great position to qualify for Paris 2024.

The Canadian women put on a great display of their skill with Maddy Balt stepping to the biggest rail on the course, Fay De Fazio Ebert blasting everything in her way and Samantha Secours whose easy style qualified into the quarter finals. Samantha was the top performer on the women’s side with a picture perfect treflip up the step-up gap, followed up by a lipslide, crooked grind and feeble grind down the 5 stair rail! Congratulations Sam, who is now ranked among the top 30 skaters in the world!

The park competition kicked off the following week with Canada’s 'all terrain vehicle' Fay De Fazio Ebert competing in her second World Championship event alongside her National Team teammates, Adam Hopkins, Jesse Ingrilli, Caleb Nicholls, James Clarke and some rookies to the international competition scene, Kaede Fraser, Philipe Dulude, and Oliver Ward. As with the street contest the open qualifier round was a grueling affair with over 125 male, and 64 female skaters all looking to make the top 28 and move on the quarter finals. The competition bowl was one of the biggest we have seen, with two deep ends multiple hips and a huge vert wall. After a very short, three day practice window where the skaters could only access the bowl for 45 mins, all the Canadians had a plan and a run in mind to showcase their abilities.

Caleb Nicholls was the top men’s qualifier executing his high flying brand of skating blasting over the gaps and getting creative with a powerslide to full cab melon in the deep!

The rookies had Caleb’s back working in the bowl in their own way, Jesse Ingrilli backside lipsliding through the deep corner, Phil’s technical tailslide combos and Oliver’s inverts.

Veterans Adam Hopkins and James Clarke laid down a beating on the course in practice, killing the vert extension with kickflip indys, blunt variations, rad transfers and technical grinds. Unfortunately, they could not link their full runs during the event, but demonstrated they can still hang with the world's best!

Fay Defazio Ebert was the top performer across both men’s and women's park, floating and spinning over the hips and sliding through the corners of the bowl to qualify into the quarter finals. In the quarters she increased the level of difficulty after becoming more familiar with the bowl, adding a feeble grind in the tight pocket and lipslide in the deep end linking to her backside 270 alleyoop over the hip. Congratulations to Fay on her personal best performance finishing 18th! Kaede Fraser, joined the crew all the way from Japan! Her father, a long time skater from New Brunswick has been helping her to craft her tricks for years in their private backyard park. So stoked they were able to join the crew for the first of many international events for this young up and comer!

The results of this competition have serious implications for Paris 2024. Only 22 skaters will qualify for the Olympic Games and the points earned at the World Championships have a direct impact! With two street events in the mix and one park event, Canada is currently in a qualifying position for 2 men’s street skaters, 1 women’s street skater, and 1 women’s park skater. There is a long ways to go on the Road to Paris, and our Canadian Skaters are well on their way!

You can find full results from the event here:

Full rankings on the Road to Paris can be found here:

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